School for children with special needs rated ‘outstanding’ by inspectors

<img src="https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/sVXiAj5UzgOD6KGX4q4uug–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MDtjZj13ZWJw/https://media.zenfs.com/en/daily_echo_904/96fb0f00ad8578ca2cf3322e3e03fc91&quot; alt="Yarrow Heights in Bitterne Park <i>(Image: Yarrow Heights)
Yarrow Heights in Bitterne Park (Image: Yarrow Heights)

A SCHOOL in Southamptong has been given the highest rating possible by education watchdogs in its first-ever inspection.

Yarrow Heights in Bitterne Park has been rated outstanding by Ofsted.

The Cobden Avenue school for children with special educational needs was inspected on November 8 to 10 last year.

All four categories – quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management – were rated outstanding.

Inspectors found that leaders and staff have worked “tirelessly to create a school which provides a first-class education for its pupils”.

They described the curriculum as “broad, balanced and well-sequenced” and said it prepares students for the next stage of their education.

It includes a wide range of GCSE options for older pupils.

The report found the school sets out to support each pupil’s specific needs while making up for lost learning where pupils might have significant gaps in their education.

Inspectors said teachers are “experts in planning activities” for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Pupils “behave very well” and adults respond with understanding and sensitivity while maintaining the school’s high expectations, the report said.

Inspectors highlighted that pupils work hard in lessons and present their work with care.

They respect adults and each other and have a strong sense of right and wrong.

One student said to inspectors: “We’re all different here and everyone is respected.”

Headteacher Karen Gaster said she is “absolutely thrilled for everyone associated with Yarrow Heights” following the inspection.

She said: “This is the result of a lot of hard work, commitment and passion from all staff, pupils and families.

“It represents our relentless drive, focus and determination to provide the highest standards of education, care, and therapy for all of our pupils.

“This recognition of our special school sets us on a solid trajectory to go from strength to strength”.

Some 60 children aged between seven and 16 are taught at the school, which opened in September 2021.

Annual fees for the school cost around £71,000 and £84,000.

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